Shirley Temple

Police Force

History and rules of the Shirley Temple Police Force

(Picture: Presenting badge to J Edgar Hoover 1937)

Background sound clip,

Spoken & recorded 2000 J Pratt

The "Shirley Temple Police Force" was originally Shirley's idea; a typical boys game sparked by her admiration and involvement with FBI Director J Edgar Hoover and the fact that he made her a G-Woman in 1936, earning a kiss.

During the filming of "Heidi" the Director Allan Dwan recognised Shirley's ability to control things in his absence, particularly the other children, and had a supply of badges made for issue. A badge was issued to J Edgar Hoover on 16th September 1937, who in return gave Shirley his autograph. The badges were 1-3/4"h x 1-3/8"w, made of bronze, with markings on the back A.STAMP & STY.8O/L.A.Cal.

The idea caught on and Shirley loved it; she was the Chief and Allan Dwan was the Captain and the Police Force was expanded by Shirley to other staff on the set. Allan always kept a supply of badges in his pocket and is reported to have avoided many speeding tickets by offering a badge to the Police Officer apprehending him. Alan was also Director in "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm", and "Young People".

The rules of the Shirley Temple Police Force were simple:
- Swear allegiance to Shirley and guarantee to obey her.
- Carry the badge at all times.
- Keep the badge shined.
Anyone discovered by Shirley not abiding by the above rules were imposed a fine, typically 25 cents, which was readily paid by all actors and staff on the set. The money from fines was saved for local charity. It quickly exceeded $2,000 and was used to build boy's and girl's clubs in Santa Monica.

These facts outline Shirley's intense desire for order with herself in control, and ultimately benefits to the community. This motive has seen her venture into politics with great success, and since hers is a good cause, we should all belong to the Shirley Temple Police Force.

As mentioned on the "Home" page, visitors who sign the "Guestbook" receive a Shirley Temple Police Badge in full color.

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